Annual report on American philanthropy estimates record giving

According to the newly released 2015 Giving USA: Annual Report on Philanthropy, charitable giving is estimated to have risen to a record $358.4 billion last year. The Chronicle of Philanthropy breaks down some of the report’s key findings (Chronicle, 6/16):

The figures show that donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations last year topped the record giving figure achieved in 2007, just before the recession started to affect donation figures. The recovery was the shortest on record after such a devastating and deep recession and was also far faster than experts had predicted. Some had said it would take a decade or more until giving bounced back.

“Giving USA” says now that the 2009-to-2014 recovery is the fastest on record in the past 40 years. The report, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is considered the most comprehensive source of data on patterns on Americans’ charitable giving.


As the economy grew, philanthropy grew even faster. Giving reached 2.1 percent of GDP of last year — up from 2.0 percent in 2013 and the highest it’s been since 2003. That growth may seem insignificant, but each 0.1 percentage point results in an increase of $17 billion.

– Foundation Center president Brad Smith discusses the difficulty foundations often face in embracing the term “inequality.” (Philantopic, 6/16)

ENVIRONMENT/EDUCATION | A new study finds that exposure to green spaces can bolster cognitive outcomes in children. Researchers found students with more vegetation surrounding their schools showed more progress in working memory and attention over the span of a year. (Atlantic, 6/16)

YOUTH | Teenagers Are Losing Confidence in the American Dream (Atlantic, 6/15)

HEALTH/GENDER EQUITY | Insurance Still Doesn’t Cover Childbirth For Some Young Women (NPR, 6/16)

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